Thursday, May 14, 2015

Keeping it in the family

I became interested in 2 wheelers with the Vespa motor scooter. In 1999, new Vespas were not being sold in Montreal, Quebec and good used examples were hard to find. I wasn't aware of a Vespa "scene" in my city so I did some research in order to buy one. 

I wanted a P series Vespa for reliability and easy parts sourcing. I decided to work with a Canadian business in order to simplify purchase and licensing.  I selected a shop in Ontario, a neighbouring province, that specialized in importing basket case bikes and rebuilding them to the client's specifications. 

This was to be my Vespa, pictured below before work had started on the rebuild: 

The shop went out of business. The work was never completed, my investment was lost and the bike was never delivered. I kept a fondness for vintage Vespas and scooters of all sorts. 

Since then, I have owned three motorcycles, restoring two of them. One bike that I had overlooked  was in storage in the basement of my childhood home. It was not a scooter, but it did have a two stroke motor. It was my mother's moped, a 1974 Hercules M1. It had been parked and not ridden since 1979.

I knew little about mopeds. The bike seemed in good condition. I decided to examine this bike and to learn more about it, making it my latest restoration project.